The opening episode gets Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness off to a fast-paced, on-brand start.
This recap of Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness season 1, episode 1 contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
Some things never change, and in any Resident Evil story, you can all but guarantee a helicopter crash. This one occurs in October 2000, in the Republic of Penamstan, a fictional warzone that the swanky CG depicts with a muzzle-flashing ferocity in this cold open as a group of U.S. soldiers are downed and ambushed behind enemy lines. It’s a brief, chaotic way to kick things off, and the carnage quickly shifts to a scene of the Americans being hung upside-down and drenched in petrol by the locals, ready for a bonfire. But just like that, the bodies’ eyes snap open — and they don’t look entirely human.
You have to respect Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness episode 1 for basically treating its cold open like a franchise bingo card. And the introduction of obligatory elements doesn’t stop there. Enter long-time franchise-favorite Claire Redfield (surely she owns another jacket?), who is lingering around a U.N. refugee camp in Penamstan and befriending a local mute boy, Remotsu Ganape, who was present during the civil war and now draws horrific images of what he saw, including sketches of what look like… zombies?
Look, it’s Resident Evil, of course they’re zombies.
And since this is Resident Evil, Leon S. Kennedy can’t be far from the action. He’s introduced here after several hilarious lines of dialogue that reference his exploits the way villains used to talk about ’80s action heroes. He’s the guy who saved the president’s daughter! (In Resident Evil 4). He’s the guy who just thwarted a Pittsburgh terror attack! And now he’s going to be part of an elite four-person team tasked by the obviously not-trustworthy Secretary Wilson with investigating a hack of one of the Pentagon’s servers. Military secrets and other confidential files have been leaked, and since the servers are all on a local network, it must have been an inside job — and China, even if President Graham (Ashley’s father!) is reluctant to cast blame, are the prime suspects.
Before this, though, the lights go out. Uh-oh. Press Secretary Spacer is found staggering around the White House halls, looking a little worse for wear, and promptly collapses. He goes into cardiac arrest, dies, turns, and promptly attacks one of Leon’s colleagues, Patrick. Seems like action scene time to me!
Leon and his fellow agents, Jason and Shen May, all arm up and get a couple of sequences to prove themselves capable as they clear the White House corridors. The question remains, though — how did zombies get into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? You can bet your bottom dollar that it’s something to do with Penamstan, since Claire, now working for TerraSave, arrives not long after the carnage looking for Spacer. He’s her point of contact to get schools and stuff built in the wake of the devastation wrought by the civil war, but of course, Spacer isn’t available for chat, so instead, she shows Leon Remotsu’s drawings. Doesn’t that look eerily familiar to what happened in Raccoon City?
Since I’m not entirely sure when this is taking place, timeline-wise, it’s hard to tell how silly this line is. It’s definitely after Resident Evil 4, though, which means Leon should in no way be shocked to hear about the presence of BOWs elsewhere in the world. Either way, Claire makes a joke about Leon wearing a suit, which we’ll return to later on in the season. The next we see of Leon, though, he’s back in his usual attire (does anyone in this franchise ever change their style?), boarding a submarine with Jason — who, by the way, is known as “The Hero of Penamstan” — and Shen May, bound for a bio-research facility in Shanghai that the DIA has determined was the subject of the stolen classified files.
On the submarine, Leon catches Jason injecting himself with something while groaning in pain, which doesn’t bode well. Has someone injecting themselves with anything ever gone well in this series?
Whatever. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness season 1, episode 1 ends by returning to the chaos from the opening, as the now-zombified troops set about the locals who were just about to burn them. The whole place gets set alight as a pair of young, tiny eyes watch on — what they see will probably be hard to forget.